Google’s data-friendly mobile app YouTube Go was released in over 130 countries today, according to a YouTube blog post. It was designed specifically for emerging markets, where data connections are commonly unreliable, and allows users to download and watch videos offline.
The app was test-launched in India last year before expanding to 14 additional countries. TechCrunch reports that this release includes countries in “Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and elsewhere.”
According to the blog post, YouTube Go gives users “access to YouTube regardless of connectivity status and more control over data usage, while being locally and socially relevant.” They describe the main features that distinguish the app from the traditional YouTube app as follows:
Videos that matter to you: The YouTube Go home screen features trending and popular videos in your area, so that you can find and discover videos that you and your community care about. The entire experience is available in your language, with videos that are relevant to you.
Control over your experience: On YouTube Go, we’ll show you a video preview when you tap on a thumbnail, giving you a better sense of what the video is about before you decide if you want to watch it. You can then choose to download the video for viewing later or stream it now. And we also allow you to choose the amount of data you’d like to spend on that video.
Share videos with friends nearby: With YouTube Go, you can share videos with friends and family nearby without using any data.
With this release, Google has added several new features based on input from users during the beta phase, including high-quality viewing, sharing and downloading to accompany basic and standard quality.
Watch in high quality: In response to user feedback, we’ve given you even more control of your experience and added the ability to download, stream, and share videos in High Quality in addition to basic and standard quality resolutions.
Discover fresh content you love: We heard that you wanted an even easier way to get the freshest videos recommended to you. Now, you can get new personalized content with a simple pull of the home screen. We also notify you when new videos are uploaded from the channels you love.
Share more easily: We know you love sharing videos, so we made design changes to make it even easier to access the share nearby feature right from the home page. We also added a highly requested feature: allowing multiple videos to be shared at once.
Although YouTube Go provides personalized content relevant to users based on their location, some reviewers complain that the app doesn’t sync with your YouTube profile, leading to subpar video recommendations.